Describe on Solanaceae Family

Solanaceae is a large faintly, commonly called as the ‘potato family’. It is widely distributed in tropics, subtropics and even temperate zones (Figure).

Vegetative Characters: Plants mostly, herbs, shrubs and small trees

Stem: Herbaceous rarely woody, aerial: erect, cylindrical, branched, solid or hollow, hairy or glabrous, underground stem in potato (Solarium tuberosum).

Leaves: alternate, simple, rarely pinnately compound, exstipulate: venation reticulate.


Figure: Solanum nigrum (makoi) plant: (a) Flowering twig (b) Flower (c) L.S. of flower (d) Stamens (e) Carpel (I) Floral diagram


Floral Characters:

Inflorescence: Solitary, axillary or cymose as in Solanum

Flower: bisexual, actinomorphic

Calyx: sepals five, united, persistent, valvate aestivation

Corolla: Petals five, united; valvate aestivation

Androecium: stamens five, epipetalous

Gynoecium: bicarpellary, syncarpous; ovary superior, bilocular, placenta swollen with many ovules

Fruits: berry or capsule

Seeds: endosperm.

Economic Importance

Many plants belonging to this family are the source of food (tomato, brinjal, potato), spice (chilli): medicine (belladonna, ashwagandha); fumigatory (tobacco), ornamentals (petunia).